Race reports - Round 2 - Silverstone GP
8th June 2019
We arrived at the circuit on Friday morning, looking forward to getting some testing time in the car and hoping to build on the results at Snetterton. That was until the rain started! It was torrential, and on a busy circuit my priorities were building up gradually and, frankly, seeing where I was going!
As such, when qualifying arrived on Saturday morning, I’d had limited time on track. Again, qualifying was slightly damp, with an ever-drying circuit and times falling considerably throughout the session. I had set the fastest times early in the session, and was improving as the circuit dried. Then, as I exited Brooklands, the car lost all power and I had to coast into the pitlane. This meant I missed the last 5 minutes of the session – when the track was completely dry – and my time in the damp was only good enough for 9th. To add insult to injury, the format for this weekend meant that my fastest two laps would be my starting places for races one and two respectively – leaving me 9thfor both.
In Race One, I was determined to make forward progress and climb up the order to where my pace deserved. I made a fantastic start, going around the outside of 3 cars into turn one, and getting straight up to 6thon the exit of Copse. I had to consolidate through Maggotts & Becketts, but got a good exit up Hanger Straight, and took to the inside as I went four abreast with the cars in front into Stowe. I held my nerve and was up to third! Next up was Toby Trice in second, and I began to close the gap created by our battling behind. I was on his tail, but still under pressure from behind, and both Mark Sansom and Chris Threadgill passed me, pushing me down to fifth.
From there, I regrouped and got back into the fight, enjoying a three-car battle with Chris and Toby, while Craig Cornick caught from behind. I passed Toby and Chris, but dropped behind Craig, and was back in 4th, and battling hard for my first podium! We fought hard for the final 4 laps, but I just couldn’t find a way past, crossing the line just 0.4 seconds behind, but having to settle for 4th.
Whilst I was gutted to miss out on a podium, it was a fantastic result after the qualifying problems, and I was looking forward to trying to replicate the performance in Race Two.
Then came the long wait until Sunday afternoon for Race Two. Again, starting 9th, I couldn’t get quite such a good start, and only gained one place into turn 1. I got a good exit and committed to a brave pass into Maggotts, going through the middle of 2 cars and taking 7th.
Chris White had run wide ahead of me and I made a pass into Stowe to take 6th, but lost the position back to Chris soon after. Then a big accident caused a long Safety Car period. On the restart, I resumed my battle with Chris, and we traded places a number of times. I knew I had the pace to catch the group up ahead but couldn’t make the pass stick, and followed Chris home in 7thplace. A disappointing result after the first race, but again two finishes and a solid haul of points for the Championship.
On my way into the pits, I was told to stop by the podium. Clearly I was confused, so was delighted to be told I had been awarded the Driver of the Weekend by Ginetta for my efforts in the two races. It was great to stand on the podium where many of my idols have done, and made me all the more determined to grab that maiden top-three finish!
Quali – P9, P9
Races – P4, P7